Google Penalises Rap Genius – Offsite SEO Gone Wrong
Dec26

Google Penalises Rap Genius – Offsite SEO Gone Wrong

14SHARESFacebookTwitter On Christmas day, Google penalised a large US-based lyrics website and removed its presence from the SERPs. John Marbach, the guy that exposed Rap Genius wrote an article on his blog entitled “RapGenius Growth Hack Exposed” detailing how Rap Genius had improved its search rankings by enticing bloggers to add linkbacks to Rap Genius’ website that contained heavily targeted anchor text — in exchange for a Tweet to said page. (A link for a Tweet) This is what the search results look like when you search for “Rap Genius” at the moment: As you can see RapGenius.com can’t be seen other than on other websites mentioning the now penalised website. This is the sort of link building that RapGenius.com has been doing: That’s just asking for trouble. That’s 16 links to the same site with targeted keyword anchor text to specific pages on the RapGenius.com website. The reason they got caught? They weren’t careful enough. This sort of link building activity likely sent alarm bells ringing, and the fact that they were publicly exposed and publicly reaching out to bloggers like this on Facebook was just another nail in the coffin or even the final nail in the coffin. What’s the course of action? Rap Genius can definitely bounce back from this, as we’ve seen this sort of penalty with brands like Interflora and BMW. They need to contact all of the sites that they’ve reached out to delete the linkbacks to RapGenius.com or either disavow them. Now Rap Genius’ entire backlink profile will be under scrutiny. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether they recover from this. I don’t see why they shouldn’t recover from this if they act quickly. Another point is the fact they’ve likely gained a lot of attraction, as major sites like TechCrunch are now linking to RapGenius.com, which should count for them when they get back on their feet. It’s really quite interesting how a negative can also be a positive. Obviously the negativity of this is at a much higher percentage, but sometimes you just have to look at the positives — even if minimal. Matt Cutt’s “When penguins attack” post on Twitter When penguins attack! Merry Christmas! pic.twitter.com/iEs9yKBVXC — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) December 25, 2013   What’s your take on...

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Google gives preference to Google+ (Duh!)
Dec22

Google gives preference to Google+ (Duh!)

10SHARESFacebookTwitter It appears that I’ve managed to get my authorship working, but just not on this site. I presume this is because Google are essentially trying to push their product, Google Plus. Unfortunately this is not what I was expecting, but nonetheless I’ll still take it. I posted yesterday on Twitter that I’d be looking into implementing authorship on two of my sites. Just setup Google Authorship on two of my sites — should have done that a while ago. Will be fun to see my face in the SERPs. #GooglePlus — Jonathan Jones (@Jonny_J_) December 20, 2013 I’ve done this by verifying my websites using emails that are connected to the domains I own to verify my authorship status. I’ve also added a much more suitable picture as I’ve read that Google are quite stringent on the types of pictures you can use. You obviously can’t use pictures of cats, dogs or anything else other than a human face; otherwise, that would give you the benefit of higher click-through rates (CTR). This is obviously something Google are against, and you should only really be having rich snippets on listings that you’ve actually written yourself. It’s quite unfortunate as I did already have Google Plus authorship setup (also known as “rich snippets”) — I believe in that occurrence, however, I didn’t have an image uploaded that Google would be willing to accept. It was a side shot of my head. From Google’s own words: “Make sure that you have a profile photo with a recognisable headshot” Otherwise, you’ll find that your mug might not ever appear in the results. You’ll likely get the following issue where your only your Google Plus account will be linked to with no image in sight. See “by Jonathan Jones“. (Only text; boo!) Where Google+ was given preference over my own site And, this is the part where Google+ was given preference over my own website. I actually don’t really think this to be the case, and would moreover conclude that this is due to Google+ being crawled then indexed quicker than my site. I’ve heard it could take a minimum of  a week to start seeing my lovely face in the search results — after implementing the rel=”author”, adding your site to G+ and verifying your website using the same domain as your content (not necessary). Why does Google’s Authorship for Google Plus matter? According to a case study by Catalyst Search Marketing, click-through rates (CTR) increased by 150% when the authorship image showed up on their listings. It’s also quite obvious that if you have an image next to a bunch of...

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Title & Meta Optimisation using Screaming Frog
Dec21

Title & Meta Optimisation using Screaming Frog

12SHARESFacebookTwitter It’s important to optimise your meta descriptions and titles so that they stand out in the search engine results pages (SERPS) and if you’ve got a particularly large website then the process can be quite daunting. However, with the help of programs like Screaming Frog, you should be able to speed this process up a little. And, I really do mean a little, as you’ll still be spending most of your time writing page titles & meta descriptions. Here, I’ll show you how I’m going to optimise my titles and meta descriptions for Vlexo.Net. I’ve been meaning to do this for a couple months now, but I’ve just not had the time to do this. I guess I don’t have that excuse anymore, as I’m on annual leave. 🙂 What is Screaming Frog? Screaming Frog is a crawler and it’s something you should be aware of if you have ever delved in the world of SEO. It’s an awesome tool, in my opinion, which helps you to identify areas of your website/blog that need improvement. For example, you can see where on your site you’re missing H1 & H2 tags or if there are duplicate H1 & H2 tags – with a number to go alongside it. It’s essentially a tool that analyses your website from an SEO perspective. I won’t go into too much description on this, as you can find out what the tool does on the Screaming Frog website. Play around with it and get used to it. In fact, don’t even read about what it does, just run the program and see what you can find out after you enter your site in the URL field. How do you go about optimising your site’s titles and meta descriptions? It’s simple. Using Screaming Frog I simply typed in my domain in the URL field and hit “Start”. What this does is crawl your entire site — pages, images, css, javascript and probably more — then you can use this information accordingly by exporting this data into an Excel spreadsheet and adding into a table to filter it. This is what it should look like in Screaming Frog: The time consuming task is actually coming up with high quality meta descriptions and titles. It’s probably worth doing keyword research behind the pages you’re trying to optimise. For now, you can optimise each page for keywords that you think people will be searching for to find your lovely website, which is essentially what I’m going to be doing with this site. Hit the export button and download the file. Open it up in Microsoft Excel:   It’s a little disjointed,...

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On Page Search Engine Optimisation
Sep04

On Page Search Engine Optimisation

9SHARESFacebookTwitter On Page Search Engine Optimisation Having done a bit of on page optimisation for websites – it’s always great to have a visual way in how you should be optimising a page with explanations as to why. Here’s a great infographic by BackLinko that explains which areas of the site you should be looking at for optimisation purposes. I’ll be honest and quite frank about Vlexo.net, as I haven’t really done optimisation on this site; however, I do plan to do a full days work of optimisation on this site to get it ranking better in the search results. Source: Infographic by...

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Do .pdf files pass link equity to links within PDFs?
Aug23

Do .pdf files pass link equity to links within PDFs?

17SHARESFacebookTwitter I’ve read many articles on this subject to get to the definitive source for this question and I can now say that Google does pass link equity to links within PDF files. From the off start I’ve definitely seen .pdf files in search results and they definitely do obtain PageRank. Here’s a neat example of a .pdf that has a PageRank of 2. For me this is something new as I’ve never really dealt with .PDF files before and it’s potentially something that I should be suggesting at work or something that can be used to optimise eBooks that use the .pdf extension. Back to the original subject! Do links within .pdf files obtain any link equity/juice? Well… If we look at this document: Search Appliance > Documentation > Admin Crawl > Introduction Search for “.pdf”. You’ll find the following piece of text: The search appliance crawler only follows HTML links in the following format: <a href="/page2.html">link to page 2</a> It follows HTML links in PDF files, Word documents, and Shockwave documents. The search appliance crawler does not follow HTML links embedded in Javascript code. This leads me to believe that links do get a bit of lovin’ inside .pdf files – so as long as they are formatted in HTML format, as seen like the above. Do Google index & pass link equity to links within .pdf files?: Yes. They do....

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A tip to finding guest post opportunities
Aug13

A tip to finding guest post opportunities

12SHARESFacebookTwitter Warning: This shouldn’t be your only outreach method. In the near future I will be detailing other ways to find guest post opportunities. Now that I’ve started working as an actual SEO I’ve created this blogging category to share my big tips on SEO and specifically with this article, finding blogs that allow guest posts. This will essentially mean that whatever I’ve found useful during work – I’ll share it. It’ll also be a reference that I can look back to in case I stupidly forget what I’m doing and have a nervous breakdown. (Not going to happen…) How do I find blogs that allow guest posts? The one major part of my work is to link build and content marketing is a very decent method to promote your site. After all, every major digital marketing company is using content marketing to build up links for major brands. To find blogs/websites that allow guest posts I’ll use the aid of Google search operators. You don’t really have to type in anything fancy and you’ll only really need to use the more technical search operators if you have specific requirements. Though I find that the quotation marks usually work well for most search uses. If I wanted to find a blog that allows guest posts that fit, let’s say, “cars” then I would type the following into Google: “guest post requirements” “cars” Result: Those are all sites that you could potentially get guest posts on and the list is endless. Or if I wanted to find financial websites that allow guest posts, I’d change “car” with “finance” and we’ll also change the key term (The first part in quotations): “guest post” “finance” As you can see there is a large list of sites that are potential guest posting opportunities and they fit the niche that I’m trying to target. Now I would not use the term “guest post requirements” or “guest posts” for all your guest post finding adventures and I would vary these searches with the following key terms that I’ve found and they are quite useful for content marketing. You can also be country specific by doing something like the following: “guest post” “finance” “uk” 9 times out of 10 you’ll get websites that are based in the United Kingdom. I guess for the US, you’d simply type in US or “.com” or just leave it blank. However, you can also enter other top level domains or domain extensions to find specific country based sites. Key terms These are the key terms that I’ve found useful and  I’m sure you’ll be able to find more creative ways...

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